Fraternities face increased number of recruits

Danielle Ferguson

Men interested in joining greek life now have two opportunities this week to explore the 30 fraternities on campus.

Because of an increasing number of interested recruits, Interfraternity Council has expanded fall recruitment to two days this year — Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 — to allow more students the chance to explore the different organizations.

“We want to be open to more students,” said Jake Vanderslice, vice president of recruitment for greek affairs.

Both days begin at 5 p.m. with pizza and yard games on Central Campus. At 6:30 p.m., Interfraternity Council members will give an overview on academic, leadership and philanthropy expectations in the Maintenance Shop.

Interfraternity Council fraternities recruit throughout the entire year, Vanderslice said, but recruitment is heaviest during the summer months to allow the men to live in the chapter house if they so desire.

From January through August last year, 530 men were recruited.  There have been 644 recruits in the same timeframe this year, Vanderslice said.

One of the newest fraternities on campus, Delta Sigma Phi, will be looking increase their membership during recruitment this week.

Brendan O’Connor, president of Delta Sigma Phi, said he had never considered joining greek life.

That is, until he was part of a group of men recruited to found Delta Sigma Phi, a non-facility fraternity founded in spring 2014.

“I didn’t want to get involved at all,” O’Connor said. “It was the opportunity to start from scratch that appealed to me the most. We’re all good friends in the greek community, but I wasn’t really enamored by any of the other existing organizations so it seemed interesting to start my own.”

Any man interested in joining Delta Sigma Phi would be considered a founding father until it become a chartered organization. Normally, chartering a fraternity could take up to two years, O’Connor said. Delta Sigma Phi is on track to be chartered by the end of this academic year.

As of the beginning of September, the fraternity has about 48 members.

“The gap is closing pretty quickly … to be a founding father … because we’re trying to get as much [of the recruitment requirements] done as possible so we can focus on what we want to do here at Iowa State,” O’Connor said.

Recruitment tactics, O’Connor said, are different for a non-facility fraternity. He said Delta Sigma Phi has asked for recommendations from current Delta Sigma Phi members as well as sorority members. He also said the fraternity might talk to pledges who decided not to join the fraternity in which they were originally interested.

“If they don’t want to go into greek life, that’s OK,” O’Connor said. “We understand. Most of us had the same mentality. That’s exactly why we like talking to them.”

Under the national umbrella of the organization, Delta Sigma Phi must have a philanthropic event related to the American Red Cross. O’Connor said the group can focus on additional philanthropies.

O’Connor also said he is excited to be one of the founding fathers so he can build a new image and reputation for the organization. As for recruits, O’Connor said he hopes to talk to as many new people as he can at fall recruitment.

“We want to be able to take guys who are trying to work their way up and be surrounded by guys who want to do that,” O’Connor said. “Guys who know they can be really great leaders and know what they can accomplish and need that extra push to get there.”